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(rĭg-vā`də): see VedaVeda
[Sanskrit,=knowledge, cognate with English wit, from a root meaning know], oldest scriptures of Hinduism and the most ancient religious texts in an Indo-European language.
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(Book of Hymns), a collection of chiefly religious hymns that appeared among Aryan tribes at the time of their migration to India. The hymns were composed in dialects grouped under the term “Vedic Sanskrit.” The Rig-Veda is the first known example of Indian literature and the oldest and most significant of the Vedas. The tenth century B.C. is traditionally accepted as the time in which the Rig-Veda received its finished form, but some of the hymns evidently date to the middle of the second millennium B.C. The Rig-Veda includes 1,028 hymns in ten books or cycles (mandalas), of which the second through seventh are the oldest. The authorship of each is ascribed to a particular priestly family: individual authorship of hymns cannot be determined.

The hymns of the Rig-Veda are primarily prayers addressed to the gods of the Aryan tribes. The gods personify various natural phenomena, and their images sometimes reflect very early stages in the creation of the myth. Some of the hymns are not directly connected with the rituals for which the collection as a whole was compiled. The cosmogonic hymns, chiefly in the tenth book, attest to the beginning of the development of philosophic thought in India. Approximately 20 hymns take the form of dialogues, which can be interpreted as the beginnings of drama. Many of the hymns contain valuable historical material.

The Rig-Veda was the culmination of a lengthy tradition of professional poetic creation. Its text attests to a high tradition of versification and a developed system of expressive devices in poetical language. The work is valuable for the study of the most ancient mythology and the early stages of literary development in India. In the mid-19th century, research on the Rig-Veda contributed to the development of comparative mythology (by M. Müller, R. Roth, and others). The mythology of the Rig-Veda finds its greatest number of parallels in the Avesta. A common origin is seen in a number of images in the Vedic and Greek pantheons (Dyaush and Zeus, Ushas and Eos, Gandharvas and the centaur) and in the myths of other Indo-European peoples.


Die Hymnen des Rigveda, 3rd ed., vols. 1–2. Edited by T. Aufrecht. Berlin, 1955.


“Iz oblasti vediiskoi poezii: Gimny.” Translated from Sanskrit by B. Larin. Vostok, 1924, book 4.
Rigveda: Izbrannye gimny. Translation, commentaries, and introduction by T. Ia. Elizarenkova. Moscow, 1972.
Der Rig-Veda: Aus dem Sanscrit ins Deutsche. Übersetzung von K. F. Geldner, parts 1–4. Cambridge-London-Leipzig, 1951–57.
Rigveda-samhita, Translated by Vallathol, vols. 1-3. Travancore, 1955-57.


Renou, L. Bibliographie védique. Paris, 1931.
Dandekar, R. N. Vedic Bibliography. Bombay, 1946.


References in periodicals archive ?
It appears from the Vedic literature that generally marriage used to be settled by the eldest male member of the family but there are other references in the Rigveda Samhita which shows that when brides were of 16 or 17 they had more or less effective voice in the selection of their partners.
The pains of Rigveda and script of Mohen-jo-daro and eastern Island" V-III 1937.
First is that Wasson's interpretation assumed that "priests appointed to impersonate Indra and Vayu" urinate the intoxicating Soma (Wasson 1968: 30), despite a lack of evidence "in the whole of the Rigveda that priests ever impersonate the gods in any capacity" (Ingalls 1971: 189).
Time, tense and aspect in early Vedic grammar; exploring inflectional semantics in the Rigveda.
But much of Ganganagar's agricultural success may actually come down to the Saraswati, a mythical river on whose banks the action of India's ancient epics the Mahabharata and Rigveda take place.
On page 181 he says in the section on Indo-Aryan in the Indus valley: "By 1500 BCE, when the first hymns of the Rigveda are believed to have been composed, that portion of the Indo-Aryan speech community which was associated with the OIA texts was located in the upper Indus Valley .
The earliest mention of traditional medicine is found in Rigveda, considered as possibly the most ancient book of religious hymns in India.
The holy text of Rigveda, one of the oldest Hindu scriptures, has many Ruchas (small poems) related to cremation, which state that Lord Agni (God of Fire) will purify the dead body, or Parthiv.
COM--als perfektierendes Praefix bei Plautus, SAM- im Rigveda, CYN- bei Homer.
Hindu nationalists frequently recount that the very essence of their faith, dating back to the writings of the Rigveda in the second millennium B.
On the basis of this world view as unfolded in the famous Asvamiyasukta in the X Mangala of Rigveda, and in Atharvaveda also, Aitareya Mahidasa, spelt out the first concept of art--creativity in his Aitareya Brahmana around 1000 BC.
22); "complements to adjectives and nouns appear scattered throughout these languages: very meagerly in the Rigveda ancl Hittite, not at all in the Avesta" (p.